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The world’s largest island nation, Indonesia is made up of Sumatra, Java, Kalimantan… and more than 18,000 other islands.
As it’s spread across a vast archipelago, Indonesia is understandably diverse in various aspects. It’s no wonder that Indonesia has plenty of adventurous wonders awaiting the intrepid travellers, as well as natural wonders in the form of mountains, greenery and marine life. Beyond that, Indonesia’s rich traditions and crafts culminate in its cultural wonders, while its cities progress forward with its modern wonders. Amidst all these, the delightful sensory experiences that one can have is a testament to Indonesia’s sensory wonders.
It’s no doubt then that Indonesia’s a “wonder-full” country, but where do you begin your explorations? If you happen to be a fan of adventure, nature, or both, you’re in for a treat! Below are some recommendations on where to go in Indonesia to fulfil your sense of adventure and immerse yourself in nature.
Best natural wonders in Indonesia
The hilly island of Nusa Penida, southeast of Bali, is a paradise for nature lovers. One of its highlights is Kelingking Beach, a small cove dusted with white sands and embraced by a dramatic headland. Other stunning coastal spots in Nusa Penida include Angel’s Billabong, Broken Beach and Crystal Bay. Deeper inland, you’ll find waterfalls and jungles while off the shore, a colourful array of underwater life flourishes.
For a different kind of scenery, check out Dieng Plateau in Central Java. As its name suggests, it’s set on a plateau – one that’s created by an ancient volcanic eruption. Here, you can wander in highland forests, marvel at turquoise lakes, witness bubbling craters, and catch a sunrise from above the clouds. To top off the surreal experience of nature in Indonesia, you’ll be enjoying cool weather at 2,000 metres above sea level. So pack your coats and bundle up!
|Tip for flights: To get to Nusa Penida, fly to Bali. To get to Dieng Plateau, fly to Yogyakarta.|
Best adventure activities in Indonesia
Up for some hiking in Indonesia? There are plenty of mountains in Indonesia that welcomes hikers with varying levels of fitness. The iconic Mount Bromo, an active volcano in Java part of the Tengger Massif, is famed for its otherworldly sunrise views and gorgeous vistas. Also in Java, Mount Ijen sits at a lofty 2,799 metres, captivating visitors with blue flames formed by the combustion of sulphuric gases at the crater. Standing even higher at 3,726 metres is Mount Rinjani in Lombok which challenges you to a two- to four-day hike to the crater rim.
|Tip for flights: To get to Mount Bromo, fly to Surabaya; to Mount Ijen, fly to Banyuwangi; and to Mount Rinjani, fly to Lombok.|
Yet another one of the best adventure activities in Indonesia would be diving. There is perhaps no other place more renowned for diving in Indonesia than Raja Ampat, where marine life such as manta rays, sharks and large schools of fish thrive underneath the warm sparkling waters. Another jewel is Komodo National Park, which has a long list of dive sites with interesting names such as “End of the World” and “GPS Point.” For a more off-beat adventure, consider Alor Islands in East Nusa Tenggara which is still a hush-hush destination despite its vibrant reefs and excellent visibility.
|Tip for flights: To get to Raja Ampat, fly to Sorong; to Komodo National Park, fly to Labuan Bajo; to Alor Islands, fly to Alor via Kupang.|
Destinations that combine the many wonders of Indonesia
You’ve heard of Bali, no doubt. But do you truly understand why travellers come in droves to visit this Indonesian island? It’s in Bali that you can climb Mount Batur and view a poetic sunrise over a caldera lake, ride a quad bike across a highland forest, and go trekking with views of rice fields and terraces. Following the overdose of adventure in Bali’s natural spots, you could dive into its culture at one of Ubud’s craft villages, treat your senses to a Balinese massage, and then retreat to an ultra-modern resort. It is precisely the way that Bali combines Indonesia’s five wonders that make it such a special destination.
If not Bali, look west to Bandung, known as the City of Flowers. This city is tucked within a landscape brimming with resplendent sights – lofty mountains, lush forests, rolling tea plantations, and even an active volcano, Tangkuban Parahu. Hiking, biking, swimming, off-road driving, rafting and camping amid nature are all possibilities in Bandung. Beyond adventure and nature, Bandung has outlet malls to satisfy the bargain hunters, Dutch colonial architecture to keep the history-lovers occupied, and galleries, cafes, museums and street markets to entertain the rest.
How much are flights to Indonesia?
Return flights to Indonesia begin from as low as SGD72. The price of flights to Indonesia varies depending on factors such as the destination, the time of the year, the carrier, the presence of ongoing deals and so on. In general, it’s possible to find round-trip flights to Bali and Bandung for around SGD110 if you’re flexible with dates.
To quickly score yourself a flight deal, take advantage of Skyscanner. You can zoom into the cheapest month for your desired flight route by clicking “find cheapest month” in lieu of the dates. If you have specific dates in mind, set up a price alert to get a notification when the flight prices change. This way, you can book when the price is low!
Now that you’re filled with inspiration and equipped with the know-how to find cheap flights on Skyscanner, don’t hesitate to book your holiday pronto! Hike an active volcano in Bandung? White water rafting in Bali? Diving in the Alor Islands? Laze on pristine beaches in Nusa Penida? Go ahead, experience Indonesia’s best wonders!